Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

This right here folks is the best red velvet cake I’ve ever eaten. Extra rich, extra tender Red Velvet Cake topped with fluffy cream cheese frosting. I have tried many Red Velvet Cake recipes throughout the years, but I’ve finally found my favorite.

Red Velvet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}
 After Thursday’s post, I thought it was only appropriate to follow up with the real deal- a show-stopping Red Velvet Layer Cake!

Red Velvet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Look beyond its shocking color and you’ll find a cake that’s extra-tender with mild chocolate flavor. And let’s not forget about that sweet cream cheese frosting. Oh yes, the frosting…tangy, sweet and heavenly!

Red Velvet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

The incredible frosting also hides the vibrantly colored cake inside. It’s not until the cake is cut that the true identity of the cake is revealed. To keep the frosting crumb free I find it is best to add a very thin layer of frosting (called a crumb coat) all over the cake before the final layer of frosting is put on. After you apply the crumb coat place the cake in the refrigerator (for several hours) or freezer (for at least an hour) before applying the final layer of frosting. This extra step traps all the loose crumbs on the surface of a cake in a thin, layer of frosting. With the crumbs secured, the final layer of frosting will be clean and not pick up a single crumb from the cake itself.

Red Velvet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

If you’re still wondering what to make your sweetie for Valentines Day, this is it!

Red Velvet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any old Monday morning.

Red Velvet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 servings


For the Cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring (liquid, not paste or gel)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

For the Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch salt
4 cups confectioners' sugar


1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms of pan with parchment and spray parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs in large measuring cup; set aside. Mix cocoa with food coloring in small bowl until a smooth paste forms; set aside.

2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add one-third of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add half of buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as necessary. Repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining buttermilk mixture, and remaining flour mixture. Scrape down bowl, add cocoa mixture, and beat on medium speed until completely combined, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, give batter one final stir. Pour into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool cakes to room temperature, about 2 hours.

3. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt at medium high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.

4. When cakes are cooled, spread 2 cups frosting on one cake layer. Top with second cake layer and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.

Source: Cook's Country, December 2006

Red Velvet Cake {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}
One Year Ago: Bananas Foster Scones Bananas Foster Scones {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Two Years Ago:Peanut Butter Nutella Bars

Three Years Ago: Greek Salsa Chicken 

14 Responses to “Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. #
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor — February 8, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

    Beautiful cake! I am always up for trying a new Red Velvet recipe and this one looks perfect with the creamy frosting. Have a great weekend, Christina!

  2. #
    ChgoJohn — February 9, 2014 @ 3:23 am

    This is such a great looking cake, Christina. That cream cheese frosting really does make the red velvet cake stand out.

  3. #
    Maria M — February 9, 2014 @ 8:03 am

    So pretty! How did you get the swirls on the top? My frosting always looks so haphazard when I make cakes : )

    • Christina replied: — February 15th, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

      Thanks Maria! It’s really simple to do! After you get a thick layer of frosting on the cake, take the back of a spoon and begin making swirls and crests in the frosting. Continue until the whole cake looks swirly. :)

  4. #
    Jess — February 9, 2014 @ 8:52 am

    This looks amazing! Love the way you’ve iced it! :)

  5. #
    Cat Davis | Food Family & Finds — February 9, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

    I know this sounds crazy but I’ve never particularly liked chocolate cake but I LOVE red velvet cake. Which of course is ridiculous because it’s nothing more than red colored chocolate cake so it must be the cream cheese frosting that makes it so darn good. I can’t wait to try this …. I’m gonna make it for hubby for Valentine’s Day.

  6. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — February 10, 2014 @ 9:06 am

    This cake is too purdy to eat… Wait, did I just say that out loud? Scratch that. Hand over the cake, because it’s about to go down. Love this!

  7. #
    Laura — February 10, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

    I made this for my daughter’s birthday and the cake was excellent. The frosting was gloppy, though. I believe the proportion of cream cheese and butter to xx sugar was off in this recipe.

    • Christina replied: — February 15th, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

      Hi Laura,
      It could have been that your cream cheese was too soft/warm when you went to make the frosting. If you make it again, cut the cream cheese into cubes and make sure that the cream cheese is only softened for 15 minutes at room temperature before you make the frosting. I double checked all the ingredients for the frosting and the amounts are correct. Sorry to hear the frosting didn’t turn out for you!

  8. #
    paige — February 13, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

    I’m planning on making this cake soon!

    QUESTION: I usually use cake flour instead of all purpose flour when baking cakes…what do you think? Have you ever tried that or should I just stick with APF? ALso, what about sifting the APF? (Note: I am NOT a very experienced baker but the only time I have baked cakes the recipes just called for sifted cake flour. I really don’t know the difference.)

    Thanks for your blog! – Paige

    • Christina replied: — February 15th, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

      Hi Paige,

      I would highly recommend that you stick with the all purpose flour for this recipe. Different flours have different protein contents and different weights which can result in dramatically different results. I have 6-8 different flours in my kitchen all the time. For this recipe you do not need to sift the flour before using. I hope you enjoy the cake, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you! :)

  9. #
    christina — June 1, 2014 @ 9:49 am

    Thks for sharing. I’m gonna bake this soon for my girfrend’s birthday. The cheese frosting seems good but how canI get those swirls done? Cos I’ve not much experience with fostings

    • Christina replied: — June 1st, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

      It’s really simple to make the swirls. After you get a thick layer of frosting on the cake, take the back of a spoon and begin making swirls and crests in the frosting. Continue until the whole cake looks swirly. This is a great recipe to practice the swirls with since you can just evenly spread the icing again if you don’t like the look of the swirls. Here’s a great video tutorial on how to do it:

  10. #
    Amanda — June 21, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

    I followed the recipe to a “T”, but mine turned out more pink/brownish, what could have went wrong? I double-checked all the amounts, and I used exactly 30 mls of liquid red food colouring. Any ideas? Still is super yummy, but not the bright vibrant red that you would expect for a red velvet cake.

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